WEEKEND WEB: Free Press letters

Spalding reader Malcolm Pepper took this splendid picture of a toad.

Your views, on speeding, trains and Brexit

I totally agree with the use of volunteers

John Elson's Free Press cartoon

I entirely agree with the Chief Constable in setting up volunteers, along with PCSOs, to catch speeding drivers, especially in rural villages as – this is increasingly becoming more and more of a problem.

In fact I think the majority of motorists could not keep to a speed limit if you paid them, that is unless there is some sort of speed camera or police car in the vicinity.

The only flaw I can see in this plan, is that putting down a sign warning motorists that there is a speed trap ahead defies the object, as they will slow down for that time only, then next day back to normal.

Also when this is in 
operation, motorists coming the other way will be flashing their lights to warn other people.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to get a person some distance away in either direction, reporting the number plate of anyone doing so, or taking a photograph.

I live near Cowbit and use Barrier Bank to get to Spalding, but you take your life in your hands at rush periods as some people are doing up to 90mph, which to say the least is dangerous on this size of road.

John Messenger


Please just accept result

Not a week goes by without at least one angry anti-Brexit letter from Mr Meekings. He seems to be seeking his very own weekly column... I guess this is where his jealously of Mr Hayes comes in?

Let us examine the local popularity stakes in which Mr Hayes polled almost 70 per cent in the last election. Now, we know that remainers within South Holland only represent around 24 per cent of the total voters, surely that must tell the likes of Mr Meekings that the popularity of the EU is not that great in these parts and that the ‘Project Fear’ of which he supported failed first time around and despite numerous recent new scaremongering antics and outrageous claims his desired ‘ProjectFear’ mark two is failing miserably to sway the voters.

Let’s remember that as part of ‘Project Fear’ remainers made several claims about the imminent doom and gloom which was to happen within weeks of a Brexit result should we vote out. Looking at us now that we are way down that leave path and despite the lengthy timescale since those original astounding claims not a single one of their predictions have come true!

Isn’t it time for Mr Meekings to down his angry pen and look to a brighter future, after all, there is nothing one man can do to change a nation’s result. The UK would be a more pleasurable place if remainers just accepted the Brexit result and the positive impact it will bring in the future. Less gloom, more boom.

Mr R Garner


Interesting but mixing fact with assumption

I found the article on the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway (Gems From The Archive, February 20 Free Press) interesting, but sadly mixing assumption with fact.

The photograph take by “the discerning eye” is not of a railway crossing gate. It is a field gate which Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust installed, with others of the same pattern, on the nature reserve in 2010. However there is a vintage M&GNJR railway bridge and crossing keeper’s house in the photograph’s background.

Many locals of a certain age will know that the girder bridge, still spanning the River Welland in Spalding, was on the Great Northern & Great Eastern joint line from March to Spalding, not on the Spalding to Sutton Bridge M&GNJR line. The Welland Bank M&GNJR girder bridge was removed many years ago.

The Sutton Bridge swing bridge, one of Lincolnshire 
engineering marvels, was built in 1897. It was the third railway bridge, the previous two being constructed a short distance downstream of the present bridge.

John Redshaw

via email

A lot of places are worse off than Spalding

Regarding the article on Spalding gridlock fears over freight train plans and what effect it will have at crossings (Free Press, February 20).

The railway was opened in 1852 and was the main mode of transport until the invention of the motor car killed a lot of freight and passenger trains off, leading to decline and closures.

But gridlock at rail crossings is nonsense as there are less trains than in the early 1900s.

The railway is not to blame but those who want to get to places in their vehicle. Even if the barriers are down 24 minutes in every hour, a lot of other places are worse off with a passenger rail service every 15 minutes and freight in 
between and with the barriers down a lot more than24 minutes.

I have been in support of better transport within the Spalding area for rail and it is disgusting you cannot use the railway to commute to Lincoln for work.

The bus services are poor – all shut down by 5.30pm within south Lincolnshire – and I think the council should fight for Spalding to be kept on the rail map and support the freight services through the town and not complain. As I said, the railway was opened in 1852.

David Mortimer


Appalling that majority suffer for the minority

I was interested to read in the Lincolnshire Free Press last week ‘Gridlock fears over freight train plans’ and Nick Worth’s ‘understanding’ that there’s an increase in rail freight traffic.

I think Nick should have a day sitting at the Woolram Wygate crossing to see just how much rail freight uses this line. I dispute ‘most of it comes through the night’ and as for travelling faster – what nonsense!

It’s fairly normal to spend seven to eight minutes at Woolram Wygate crossing in the morning, waiting for two passenger trains (sometimes only carrying a couple of passengers) and a freight train, and it’s not unusual for the gates to close and a freight train to come along four minutes later at a very slow speed.

This early morning scenario is causing huge queues of school/work traffic and frustrations are mounting.

We’ll soon be slapped with a congestion charge because the pollution caused by all this traffic at a standstill is going to become a serious problem to our health.

It’s not unusual for the traffic to be queued back, from the gates, to the Clover Way shops, all spewing out fumes.

I’ve witnessed an ambulance waiting and waiting and waiting on Woolram Wygate for a train – someone could die waiting for a train that’s most probably three or four miles away or even sat in the station. Yes, the gates are kept closed waiting for a passenger train to leave the siding! It’s downright appalling that the motorist (the majority) has to suffer for the minority (the few train passengers that use this service).

It’s ironic that the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society column, featured in the same paper, talks about Spalding ‘being a major railway hub, dwindling into a very few trains a day’.

That’s as maybe, but times have changed and whereas the only way to travel was by train, now we all have a motor car to get us from A to B and that is what we want to do. The train operators did away with all the tracks around the area and have, in some respects, led us into believing the age of the train was passed for this area.

What we have to remember is that so many people in Spalding have only experienced a handful of trains running backwards and forwards to Peterborough and Lincoln for several years.

Virtually everyone is 
affected by the changes now taking place, whether it be on Woolram Wygate, Winsover Road and Hawthorn Bank – the list will be endless – unless of course you live in Werrington where it would seem the residents are being given every consideration so as not to cause them too much disruption. It’s interesting to note in the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society article that it reports on how much railway land has been built over, and particularly mentions ‘Spalding’s 
extensive sidings’.

There had been talk many years ago of an approach being built over the Winsover Road crossing. Instead of selling off the ‘sidings’ for housing (Park Road development) and supermarket car parking this should have been used to 
accommodate an approach or underpass.

The situation will only get worse for this town and I feel for the traders that are battling constantly with these horrendous queues.

Isn’t it about time the people of Spalding were given some consideration?

Victor Lewis


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